Shooter Erin Bell has turned in her best audition yet for a spot in the Diamonds’ starting seven with a career best international performance in the Australia’s victory over South Africa on Wednesday.
Bell finished with a career high 33 goals at 94 per cent as the Diamonds secured their berth in the Netball World Cup SYDNEY 2015 semi-finals with one game to go against Wales on Friday before finals kick off on the weekend.
“That’s nice to know, I didn’t realise that,” Bell said when told of her milestone.
“It was nice and open out there which was nice, I felt like I didn’t shoot well last time I got the opportunity on court so I definitely wanted to back myself and shoot those goals.”
Bell couldn’t have asked for a better start, scoring the first five goals of the game as the Diamonds raced out to a 11-0 lead in the opening minutes before the Proteas troubled the scorer.
The goal attack, who didn’t take the court in Australia’s win over England, continued her golden touch from around the circle with 18 goals from 19 attempts in the first half – her first miss coming in the last seconds of the second quarter.
Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander praised Bell for her performance on Wednesday, describing her contribution as “sensational”.
“She’s an absolute world class goal attack and she showed it tonight against South Africa,” Alexander said.
Bell, along with shooting partner Caitlin Thwaites, Rebecca Bulley, Paige Hadley, Renae Hallinan and Sharni Layton, put in their first four-quarter performance of the 10-day tournament.
Despite the blistering start, which saw the Diamonds lead 23-5 after 15 minutes, Alexander saw plenty of room for improvement.
“They did in the first quarter, that was a very good start,” Alexander said.
“We won every quarter which is what we wanted to do but a bit disappointed with the last quarter with a little bit of mucking around when it should have gone the short way home.
“It’s a great relief to get through South Africa, we certainly weren’t going to take them lightly particularly with Norma (Plummer) coaching them.”